A Michigan school official told jurors Tuesday that he felt he had no reason to search a teenager’s backpack before the boy shot and killed four fellow students, even though staff met with the teen’s parents. that morning to discuss a violent drawing he had scribbled on a math assignment.
Nick Ejak, who was in charge of discipline at Oxford High School, said he was concerned about Ethan Crumbley’s mental health but did not consider him a threat to others on Nov. 30, 2021.
After the meeting about the drawing, the teen’s parents refused to take their son home. A few hours later, he pulled a 9mm handgun from his backpack and shot 11 people inside the school.
Jennifer Crumbley, 45, is charged with involuntary manslaughter. Prosecutors say she and her husband were extremely negligent and could have prevented all four deaths if they had addressed her son’s mental health. They are also accused of making a weapon accessible at home.
Much of Ejak’s testimony focused on the meeting that morning, which included him, the parents, the child and a counselor. The school requested the meeting after a teacher found the drawing, which depicted a gun and a bullet and the lines: “Thoughts won’t stop. Help me. The world is dead. “My life is useless.”
Ejak said he had no reasonable suspicions to search the teen’s backpack, such as nervous behavior or accusations of vaping or possession of a weapon.
“None of that was present,” he told the jury, adding that the drawing also did not violate the school’s code of conduct.
Ejak said he found it “strange” and “strange” that Jennifer and James Crumbley refused to immediately take their son home.
“My concern was that he get the help he needs,” Ejak said.
He said the parents did not reveal that James Crumbley had bought a gun as a gift for Ethan just four days earlier. Ejak also didn’t know about the teen’s hallucinations.
“Those were all things that would have changed the process,” Ejak said.
James Crumbley, 47, will stand trial in March. The couple are the first parents in the United States to be charged in a mass school shooting committed by their son. Ethan, now 17, is serving a life sentence.
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